Saturday, August 10, 2013

you know you're married to an engineer when . . .

Last night, I had a meeting, and left my kids in the hands of their capable, adoring father. It seemed that all was well when I got home- kids had been bathed and were in bed, dishes were done, the house was in order, the hubby was kicking back with a movie and some popcorn.

The night passed uneventfully.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up in the morning and found THIS:

 What? You may ask.  There is nothing unusual about this kid (except the fact that he is the most adorable toddler on the planet) but let's take a closer look.

 No? Still you see nothing unusual about this cutie patooty?
* Rafeeki voice ( you know, from The Lion King?)*                   Loook haaarder . . . .

There! You see that?! Definitely proof that my kids are being exposed to an engineer's ways of thinking! I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Seems that on the night dad was in charge, at bedtime, there was a sore lack of clean PJ pants. All poor hubby could scrounge up were the old worn out elastic PJ pants that don't stay up. So he improvised:
Problem solved! Where's the popcorn?
This is what you get when you marry an engineer.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Discovering a new world

 Recently the kids and I finished reading the chapter in our US history book about Columbus discovering the new world.  I thought of a science experiment to go with it that the kids LOVED! (and that it always a good sign.) 
The Materials: 
Some construction paper, tape, toothpicks, scissors, and a Styrofoam plate (I save the ones that come with the produce I buy--they come in handy in all sorts of projects--painting, making small boats to sail to the new world, etc.)
I am very big on giving my kids materials and basic instructions and then just turning them loose to experiment.  In this case, I told them to make a boat they could blow from Spain to the New World  the fastest.  
 Jelly Bean wasn't interested in making a ship. He was more interested in making waves in the ocean.

I love how my kids take their experimentation so seriously.  They each made several models, with different theories about which ones would go fastest and why. 
 Bogey made a large boat with a tiny sail first.
 But when he tried it out, it didn't sail straight and sank. 

 Back to the drawing board.
 Dev's theory was that if she covered the construction paper in wax (from the crayon) it wouldn't get wet.  She also completely taped the bottom of her boat to make the surface more smooth, theorizing that it would glide over the water more smoothly.  (Also, it looks like there is a fight breaking out in the background that I didn't see)
 Lots of testing.  That was the funnest part!

 They made it!  We did three heats in a double elimination round.  All the boats were great with lots of ingenuity put into them.  But in the end, it was Dev's super slime/ huge sails/smooth bottom boat that cut straight through the water and made the fastest average time.  Yeah, Dev!

And it was a total reward for me to come into the kitchen later that day to find that Dev and Cal experimenting in making a board aerodynamic enough for the army guy to surf over the edge of the sink.  My kids are awesome!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What we do on Sunday afternoon

It started as a series of pictures of Dev's food art work:  you can see below that she made this "bunny sandwich" lunch for Bogey.  nice, eh? 

Then I snapped this beauty. 

The kids thought it was the most hilarious thing they'd ever seen. 

And wanted to give it a try. 

This one is my favorite!  Never a dull moment when you're livin' the blessed life!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You're welcome!

I CANNOT get this song out of my head!  And for some reason, reminds me of my awesome cousin, Ryan.  It's catchy.  I like it.  I want it to be stuck in your head, too.

(This is ok for kids to watch! They'll probably love it!)

You're welcome!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Freezing rain

In my last post, I mentioned that we'd had freezing rain.  I'm still getting used to this state and it's peculiarities.  This was crazy to watch, and beautiful to see in the morning.

This is the tree in my backyard, encased in ice.  

Beautiful, isn't it?  Something about it stirs my heart with spiritual thoughts of God's grandeur. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

I will not apologize!

Well, I think I have effectively eliminated all but the loyal followers.  It was my plan all along.  I just wanted you to show me how badly you wanted to read my blog.  If you're still here and reading, congrats!  You're one of, like, five. maybe.  In the whole world!  (pretty sure my mom doesn't even check my blog anymore.  Sad.  Her loyalties lie with my siblings.  So weak.)
I'm tired of posting these, "Boy, I haven't blogged for a long time.  I'll be better at that"  posts.  So I'm not going to. No apologies. But here's the thing:  (I'm just having this revelation)  I have very low sense of discipline.  (Glad I got that off my chest.)  I have very lofty goals...and very low time management skills....
And also, facebook is distracting.  And I love Survivor.  And the Amazing Race.  And The Biggest Loser.  And the couch and a bowl of popcorn beckons me at the end of the day in a way blogging does not.  However, as I read back on my posts, I am proud of my writing--the way I say things, and the great, funny, happy things my kids do everyday that make me happy.  I don't get that from reality TV. 
*labored sigh* so, again.  Gonna make yet another attempt at being a regular blogger and offering something worthwhile to my loyal half-dozen.
I'm pretty sure that no one in my ward reads this, so I feel fairly safe leaking the news that I am about to be released from my callings and put in a new one.  I have mixed feelings.  I have felt so chicken-with-my-head-cut-off busy for so long that this change feels welcome and refreshing.  On Sunday though as I looked into the eyes of my adorable 7 year old kids in my class, a part of my heart broke.  I had this overwhelming desire to shrink them all down to a quarter-inch (and also give them anti aging potion) and slip them into my pocket and hold onto them forever.  I love those kids.  I was their teacher, but they taught me so much about love and acceptance and zest for life EVERY WEEK!  I was changed and amazed at their examples.  There is a very real part of me that will miss them terribly.  But I am looking forward to the next adventure, too.  My Saturday evenings will hopefully be a little more relaxed and a little less studious.
I didn't get my garden in until the end of June.  The end of June! That's so late!  But this crazy state wouldn't stop frosting and hailing and dumping freezing rain until mid-June.  So things are just now maturing.  I'm hoping I still get something out of it, but I'm not holding my breath on the tomatoes (don't tell them I said that, they'll get discouraged.)
And after a good 6 week break, I am itching to jump back into homeschooling.  The homeschooling schedule is crazy and busy, but I have to admit that I like the structure it gives our days.  When we're on break, the house falls apart--chores aren't done on time or not at all.  With all the free time, the kids tend to fight more. I am more lax with the discipline, too.  Bleh.  I need a vacation from our vacation.  I'm spending some hours this weekend setting up shop.  Yeah!  (anyone else totally LOVE back to school sales?!  ooh, that new pencil smell!  Crisp clean white pages in spiral notebooks!  Gluestick 2 pack are only 20 cents! heaven!!)
I'm afraid to admit, but I must....I've delved back into the world of writing.  I've been batting a story idea around in my head for a long time and I feel driven to write it.  It's exciting and fun!  I love to escape into that world.  I get lost in there sometimes.  Once I was driving and daydreaming, and I turned down the wrong street and I didn't realize it until a tiny voice in the back seat said, "mommy, where are we going?" ha ha ha-- "home, darlin', we're just going the looooong way."
Also, announcement** my sister, creating-sarah , and I are in cahoots to have a joint blog, and am so excited about it!  it's going to pretty much rock.  So if you're interested, stay tuned, and check out her blog, because it's better than mine.  (not hard to do--but I mean that sincerely).
That's my update and I'm sticking with it

Monday, April 15, 2013

snow in April

 It's been rainy and cold most of the week.  I don't mind the rain.  In fact, I really like those cozy, we're-not-going-anywhere days that we just put on slippers and sip hot cocoa while we do our schooling for the day.  We've had a lot of those days lately. 

While Bogey and I were sitting at the kitchen table doing reading, it started raining.  Before we were done, the rain started coming down in HUGE, FAT, FLUFFY snowflakes!  I've seen snow before.  I get it, it's not THAT big of a deal, but I've never seen snow this big.  We're talking full fisted snowball size snowflakes falling out of the sky like little white fluffy bombs.  (ok, exaggeration, but they were big)  Bogey totally lost interest in his reading lessons (he may have even stopped talking mid-sentence), and HAD to go over to the window just to watch the snow fall. 
 I had a small "awesome mom" moment as I realized that it was time to close the textbook and explore something on a whim (oh, HUGE advantage to homeschooling!).  We stood there for a few minutes talking about what snow is, how cold it has to be in order to snow, and how each snowflake is different.
I know you can barely see them in the picture
Trust me.  They were big enough to pull a little boy from his lessons just to stare at them.
 He couldn't look away!  (And, it was very awesome.)

"don't look at me! look at the snow!
He only pulled himself from the window when I handed him black construction paper so he could go catch some snow on it to look at the patterns.  I love spontaneous teaching moments like that!  It's so hard to do!  I am a list person, and when I don't stick to the list, I sometimes am hard on myself for not getting everything done that I need to.  But this time I was so touched that Bogey was so amazed by the world around him (thank you, Bogey, for that lesson!) 

And hopefully, this is the last snow for season.  Great finale, mother nature!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Howdy Partner

The Jelly Bean loves to wear this cowboy hat. 


 The problem is

 He thinks the only way to wear it is LOW.  (to keep the sun outta his eyes as he rides his steed into the sunset? maybe?)

He's bumping into things.

howdy ma'am
 Good thing he's so dang cute

"the name's Tex"
 Otherwise this could be a huge problem
Anyone have a two foot tall horse he could borrow?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

my achilles heel


My name is Erin

And I love to do crafts.

But it's been 3 hours since my last project!

Actually, I have to confess that I really don't like calling it "crafts."  Paint me egotistical, but that sounds so elementary school.  I imagine myself with pigtails sitting at a low table gluing tissue paper to heavy paper.  oy,   no, no, no. That is not what I do.  I am no mere child in this category.  I am an ART-teest! and I command respect!

Yeah, anyway.  I've been arting. (Well, I can't call it crafting NOW).  I completed a project that I've been dreaming about for a long time.  Sadly, it was only the framework for the real project I was hoping to get to.  Clear as mud?  Doesn't matter.  I'll post more about this.  For now, let's just say I LOVE to repurpose.  And most of my masterpieces reflect that.  Here's just a preview of what I'm working on now.  
isn't she a beaut?
More coming soon! Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I feel like I'm being watched

Dev has been devouring the Magic Treehouse books like crazy.  Like two or three a week.  She loves them.  When we go to the library, I try to point out other books that I think she'll like.  But she barely considers them.  It's ok.  I'm glad she's found a book series that she likes that much.  During Spring Break the library here had a Magic Treehouse party.  Tragically, I didn't bring my camera to that, but it's ok because it was not mandatory that a parent be there.  So Iggy and Bogey and I went out into the children's area and did puzzles and played on the computer until Dev and Cal were done.  In a little while, all the kids came pouring out of the room and fanned across the library.  Confused I looked up and Dev yelled to me (not clear across the library, but still)  "We're doing a treasure hunt!!"  She was so excited to be doing a real treasure hunt with clues and a prize at the end and everything.  She and Calvin were very careful to follow all the clues exactly, and they were led back to the room they started in.  I started to get a little concerned when the other kids started coming out and looking around the library for clues some more.  Dev and Calving stayed in the room for the rest of the time.  When I asked her about it afterwards, she said, "The other kids were sent back out because they didn't get the right answer to unlock the clues.  They had to go out and figure out what they missed."  So it turns out that my kids were the only two that did all the clues in the right order and cracked the puzzle on the first try.  Smart kids! 

Anyway, my whole point was that ever since then, my house has been treasure/hunt/spy arena.  It is what led me to find this on my desk the other day:
"Spying be on look out.  Spying. Watch your step and look out for spying diguises, too.  signed, Jack"

And obviously, on the back, there was some very important paper work that needed to be done.

I thought it was funny, but I busted up laughing when a few minutes later, I saw this coming down the stairs:  

I LOVE the little spy at the top of the stairs, too
 hmmm...I wonder where those kids are?  All I see here are inconspicuous multi-colored slugs.

 This is the way their game works.  They tell me that they are "sneaking."  This means that they are trying to get to some location in the house (past me) without me seeing them.  If I see them, I have to yell out, "I saw you!"  And they have to go back to the start.  So Dev was trying to get down to the toy room, and I was sitting at the bottom of the steps.  She's gotta be quick.  Gotta be quick to get past me! I'm even a quick draw with the camera. 
 I discovered their secret headquarters (they were ratted out by the double agent, Iggy.  He led me right to them! Bwa ha ha ha!  I love this picture.  Notice the flip notebook in Calvin's hand. They were discussing the mission.  I threw the door open and shot! ...the picture! 

 I love my creative kids!

Friday, March 29, 2013

St Patrick's day

 I admit it.  I am not one of those mom's who goes nuts over holidays.  Sorry to disappoint.  It's exhausting to try to add a holiday on top of what we're already doing.  BUT deep inside (very, very, deep) I want to be one of those moms who is perfect and on top of things.  Maybe someday.  This year, as with every holiday that comes up, I had big ambitions to make this the biggest St. Patricks day ever! It wasn't.  And there were so many ideas that I couldn't get to most of them.  I did manage to tell them to throw on something green before we left for church, so. . .  success! 

But one thing that I did do, that I have been doing for many years is making a green dinner.  In the past, I just put food coloring in whatever was on the menu.  In recent years, though, I've tried to actually serve things that are green.  This year's menu:  zucchini quiche, broccoli, and green biscuits.  
 I realize it doesn't look super appetizing, but it's GREEN!  and that' what I was going for. 
 Sidenote:  I love Bogey's Bogey's shirt

Gasp! Iggy's not wearing green! I'll pinch those cheeks for us, shall I?

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

His birthday wish...

 Bogey had a birthday recently. 
He went through the usual excitement--
picking out his cake (Captain America)
deciding what he wanted to do most on his big day (play Mario) 
but he surprised us all when he announced what he wanted more than anything for his birthday was. . . .

His very own bag of chips! 

Ok, buddy.  I think we can handle that. 

He was thrilled to open his presents, and he had a good birthday.  


And he made very good use of that bag of chips.  
I love this kid.  He cracks me up!  Happy Birthday, big guy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Goings on

Church was cancelled today because we had a huge storm.  It only dropped about 4 inches of snow, but I have snowed plastered to the inside wall of my patio, so the wind was blowing pretty hard.  I love going to Church, and I love taking care of the responsibilities I have there, but I cannot tell you well enough how nice it was to sleep in, cuddle with the Hubby, make a nice breakfast, change into my pajamas, and take a break!  I don't just mean from Church, I mean from life.  Thank you, storm, for clearing my schedule for me.  That hasn't happened for a long time. 
My biggest trial right now is that I am so busy.  With two callings, homeschooling, and a busy husband, I barely have time to think straight.  (I realize that those three things may not sound that busy, but trust me--my plate runneth o'er.  My cup is full.) But I realized recently that I am so busy being busy that I haven't taken time to enjoy my life.  I asked for all these things, right?  I enjoy all these things, right?  So, why am I  wallowing in how busy I am?  Why am I caught up in the thick of thin things? I don't know either.  I think I will stop.  I've tried this whole week to stop, in fact.  And I've done really well.  I've enjoyed my kids more.  I've caught more of how awesome they think, how they like to explore and see the world.  I've taken more time to see what they see and laugh at the funny, cute things they do.  It's been a good week.  
I've thought a lot about this blog, too, and I've decided something.  I have to blog for me, and no one else.  That's hard for me because I'm so aware that I'm putting words out there for just any Joe Schmo to read.  But I've spent a lot of time trying to make my blog what I think everyone else would want, and it doesn't work.  My blog has to be for me.  SO I decided that while I am trying to capture the simpler, happier things in life, my blog is a great place to record it.  I guarantee that I will have long gaps in between posts sometimes (I'm busy), and as long as I'm ok with it, that's all that matters. 

This is what happens in my house when I leave my camera out:

They take blurry pictures of themselves!